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Thursday, April 26, 2012

More Author Insight: People or Setting

What's more difficult to write, people or setting?

"Setting. My manuscripts start very heavy on dialogue/characterization, and I layer in setting as I go. Setting is really important to me, but I have to think about the details." - Bethany Griffin, author of Masque of the Read Death.

"I think a lot more goes into creating an interesting character than an interesting setting, because characters are more dimensional and protean. Of course, my first book features an all-animal cast, so what do I know? My current work-in-progress, though, does use regular ol’ humans, and  I miss getting to rely on an animal’s stock appearance and behavior to help flesh out its character." - Barry Wolverton, author of Neversink.

"I tend to go back and forth between which comes more naturally, depending on my mood. Sometimes I'm definitely in a character mood and I want to write about their FEELINGS, and other times I can't be bothered to think about feelings. Just let me describe things! (I really do love describing setting.) But most of the time, character and setting are tied together, simply because the description of the setting is filtered through the character's point of view and their current emotional state." - Jodi Meadows, author of Incarnate.

"People! Settings don't have complicated emotions to grapple with." - Elizabeth Miles, author of Fury.

"For me, setting comes easier. Characters take longer to develop and come alive, but I love writing them." - Sarah Wilson Etienne, author of Harbinger.

"I love writing setting as person, but nothing beats finding that perfect line, or reaction, for a character." - Veronica Rossi, author of Under the Never Sky.


"People, definitely! With settings, I can layer in the details over time and let the world slowly develop. But with people, I feel like I’m either writing a real person, or I’m writing a cardboard cut-out. There never seems to be any middle ground." - Marissa Meyer, author of Cinder.

"Hmm, depends!  I suppose my writing tends to be more voice driven overall.  Finding the voice of a character is maybe a little easier for me, because I just start to hear them chattering away.  But finding the voice of a place—so much that it begins to live and breathe right alongside your characters?  That’s a whole new challenge." - Jess Rothenberg, author of The Catastrophic History of You and Me.

"Setting is hard because it’s just sitting there. You have to find ways to make it interactive so that you slide in details while the characters are moving through it." - David Macinnis Gill, author of Invisible Sun.

"It’s equal for me.  I know a book is starting to come together when I can easily see everyone walking around in the houses, schools, etc." - Beth Fantaskey, author of Jessica Rules the Dark Side.

"It depends on the project. As a general rule, the setting creates more of a challenge for me than characters. Shattered Souls unfolds in a real place, so the setting came into focus more easily than Annabel, which takes place in an entirely fictional location." - Mary Lindsey, author of Shattered Souls.

"It takes me forever to get the setting perfect. It really feels like you're constructing your own little town, building a house with your bare hands, decorating every inch of it just right. It’s exhausting! But then you get to live in it for a few hundred pages, so all that time and effort is worth it." - Aimee Agresti, author of Illuminate.

"Descriptions of either. The thing that comes naturally to me is dialogue." - Jennifer Echols, author of The One That I Want.


"Plot.  I'm great at the people, the setting, the world, and the premise, it's what they actually *do* I often struggle with." - Suzanne Lazear, author of Innocent Darkness.

Find out Tuesday how the authors balance creativity and believability!
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